Friday, September 2, 2011

Week 2 Done

Today ended our 2nd full week of school and things are going smoothly. Daily 5 is up and running (so much easier to launch when the majority of the class had it the year before), I actually have a schedule that feels good and I feel like I am getting everything done, plus I am able to squeeze in a short recess for my kiddos at least 4 days a week. My class is a sweet group of kids who are really eager to learn. My student teacher began on Monday and she is wonderful! I have been blessed with awesome interns every time I have taken one. My intern this year is a great asset.

My class started the novel Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing which they are LOVING. I told them that our next shared reading would be Fudge-a-mania and about 4 of my kids have come to me and asked if they could get a copy of the book because they have already finished Tales... and they want to get a head start on it! Before we started reading Tales... I had suggested it to them and they had turned their noses up at it, now they are devouring it LOL! Each day we read a chapter together and then we complete a box in our flow map. The kids are doing great, during read to self they can choose to read any book they want, including our class novel. I have had a couple of my kids come to me and say "I really want to read the class novel but I don't want to spoil it" I am so glad that I decided to leave the basal behind this year. My kids were never this excited about those basal stories, they never cheered when I said "Take out your reading book" but I get cheers, and a chorus of "yes!" when I say "Ok everyone take out your class novel" They can't wait to hear what book we will do next. I think after the 2 Judy Blume books we will delve into Roald Dahl's The BFG.

Math is a different story - We have been working on numeration, mostly rounding numbers and they are just not getting it. I have tried so many different things to help them understand but they still just don't get it. Any ideas or strategies you all can think of to help them understand this concept?


  1. I used this chant I got from a friend and don't know where she got it....for rounding to a certain place value:

    Find your place,
    Look next door,
    5 or higher,
    add 1 more.
    All digits to the left,
    stay the same,
    all digits behind,
    zero's your name.

    That really helped my kids get it....they couldn't remember what to do, add one or leave it.
    Hope this helps:)
    4th Grade Frolics

  2. I love the idea of a class novel. I prefer to enjoy a novel together as a whole group and use short stories (fiction and nonfiction) in small group instruction. I am curious as to what you are doing with your flow chart as you read each chapter together. Are you summarizing each chapter together as you read?

  3. Thanks for this post! You have motivated me to pick up that chapter book and read it with my kids. I used this basal this past week, but when reflecting back on the lesson I am realizing I could have used any literature to teach the skill. We also have a class set of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Maybe, we will start with it next week. What chapter are you guys on? Maybe, we could Skype and the students could generate questions to ask one another. Email me:

  4. Last year for my Masters program I had to read the Daily 5 book. I'm interested in hearing how you use it in your classroom. I would really like to try it in my own fourth grade room. Maybe one day you could do a post on how your schedule flows???

  5. Tara Thank you SO much for the chant! I will try it out on Tuesday and see if it helps out!

    SpotsandDots - The flow chart that I am doing is a summary of each chapter, we comprise the summary together by discussing the main points of the beginning, middle, and end of each chapter. At the end of the book we will write a book summary using the flow chart as a guide

    Mrs. Shepherd what a great idea!! I will certainly email you. We just finished chapter 5 and will begin Chapter 6 on Tuesday.

    Mrs. Stuart, this is my 2nd year using Daily 5, and will never go back to traditional centers. I love the authenticity that comes with the Daily 5. I would be more than happy to share with you my schedule and anything else I can that would help you out. Feel free to email me

  6. I was going to say use the rounding song that Tara posted. Towards the end last year, around FCAT time I found my students still struggling with rounding, so made a poster. It has the rules for rounding and I make sure to point out that you need to "LOOK" to the right and the "O"s are eyes. While giving my notes this week on rounding though I found that they didn't quite know that everything on the right changed to a zero and the digits on the left stayed the same. I made sure to add that to the notes. I also teach 4th grade in Central Florida, and I'm not thrilled with the math series used in my district, because there's a large gap between what and when things were learned in 3rd grade and what and when things are learned in 4th. Too much time has passed since they last saw anything about place value and rounding so it feels like a classroom full of zombies some mornings.

  7. Miss H, we got a new math program last year and it was really tough because the kids coming to us had received instruction with our old series in 3rd grade and, as with any program, the new program assumes that the students have had instruction with their program since kindergarten so there were a LOT of gaps, I am seeing that this year is a little better, the kids seem a little more prepared. I look forward to seeing the difference a couple years will make. Of course by the time the kids who started this program in Kinder get to us in 4th they will probably change it on us again. We used to have Everyday Math (YUCK!) and we now have Envision. What program do you use?